Pettifogger: An inferior legal practitioner, especially one who deals with petty cases or employs dubious practices. (OED).
In the two hundred and twenty-five years since 1788, lawyers have carved out a prominent and respected place in the life of Australia. It has not always been so. The first lawyers to arrive in 1788 were convicts. It took a further four decades before ‘free’ trained lawyers began to arrive in the colony. Even so, the reputation of the profession was poor; too many lawyers were seen as ‘Pettifoggers’. It took time for the profession to win community respect; a task that is never finished. This book canvasses he start of that journey with a focus on the general period 1820-1850. It explores what brought the early lawyers to Australia, the communities they found and how they fared. It takes as a particular focus five lawyers who pushed the boundaries and were disciplined as a result. These previously untold stories provide a fascinating insight into colonial Australia, the development of the legal profession and the rule of law.
Maverick Publications, 2014.